Milkweed blooms along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The name refers to the toxic milky sap of these plants. The young leaves, flowers and seeds are edible, but only after repeated boiling to remove the sap, so they have to be prepared carefully. The buds are eaten like broccoli, the young shoots like asparagus. Native Americans used these plants for a variety of medicinal purposes from removing warts and treating asthma to using the root as a contraceptive.
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